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PA Building 'Terror Neighborhood' in Hevron

The Jews of Hevron are aghast: PA building a neighborhood for freed terrorists next to the Cave of Patriarchs, on Israeli turf.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/13/2010, 8:28 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2010, 9:07 PM

David Wilder

The Palestinian Authority is building a neighborhood for freed terrorists and their families in Hevron, next to the Cave of Patriarchs. The construction is going on in an area that is under full Israeli control, yet Israeli authorities are doing nothing to halt the project, according to a spokesman for the local Jewish community. He likened the project to "a nuclear time bomb" and warned that the safety of Jewish visitors to the Cave of Patriarchs is being placed at grave risk.

The spokesman, Noam Arnon, told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew language news service that the neighborhood is "an international initiative by the PA and its arms to construct a new casbah between Kiryat Arba and Hevron. They want to cut off the main artery of traffic."

The initiative, he said, has been in place for years, but has recently gained new impetus. "We are talking about thousands of Arabs who will live in 900 homes that will have been renovated by the PA, with funding from the German and Spanish governments. In practice, they are planting freed terrorists and their families in Hevron. We also know of one terrorist who is still doing time in jail after being sentenced to life in prison for murdering a Jew. His family will receive housing in the neighborhood, free of charge."

Arnon claimed that the neighborhood is not a necessary housing solution for Hevron residents, but rather a project that brings terrorists' families into Hevron from other cities and towns in Judea and Samaria. "This is no innocent action. This is a terrorist act being carried out under the nose of the Israeli government."

The Cave of the Patriarchs, Judaism's second holiest site, attracts between 600,000 and 700,000 Jewish visitors annually, Arnon noted, and has been designated a National Heritage Site. Security officers are aware of the risk that will be posed by the new neighborhood, he said, and have attempted to bring up the matter with the higher echelons. However - "they are being blocked, out of political considerations," he estimated.